Bensalem Township and the Bensalem Township Police Department are calling attention to a recent press article that painted a negative picture of the Commonwealth of PA School Bus Safety Stop Arm Program. The article states, “…it’s rare that students are hurt or killed as a result of drivers illegally passing school buses.”
In a statement, Bensalem officials said that just one injured or dead student is too many for the township, police department and school district.
Since Aug. 29, 2022, Bensalem Police have issued 4,287 civil violations to owners of vehicles that have failed to stop for school bus stop arms and red lights. From August 2022 through the end of December 2022, there was an average of 35 violations per school day.
“This was a shocking number that none of us anticipated, but clearly identified this as a public safety concern,” said Bensalem Township director of public safety William McVey, who said the program is starting to show positive results.
The average number of violations from January 2023 to April 2023 has dropped 32 percent to 24 violations per school day. These numbers, said McVey, continue to trend downward.
The goal of this program is to change driver behavior and reduce the number of school bus violations. Bensalem Police will continue to issue civil violations for every vehicle that fails to stop for a school bus with a stop arm deployed, on every road in the township. Statistics prove, added McVey, that this program is reducing the chance that another family has to grieve the death or serious injury of their child while attending Bensalem Township schools.